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04-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #1
Sherie
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Storage of photos

Hi,
My husband wants to store our pictures (which are in various containers) in our basement where it is cool. I think it is too damp but not sure. Where is the best place to store them?

04-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
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damp places are VERY BAD to store images. Very hot E.g., attic) is bad also. Try the back of a closet.

regards,
04-22-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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or....send them all off to ScanCafe (many other places do the same service) and get them back with all scanned to DVD so you can reprint a perfect copy 20 yrs from now. I have not thrown out the snaps stuffedd in envelops and boxes but I certainly never look through them anymore. If you decline the sales push to add-on cost for corrections then its really pretty low cost. Now I have 50,000 pics on sd cards running 24hr slideshows on my three LCD wall frames so I get to vew all of them over time.
04-22-2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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Digital storage is the worst storage method available. Optical discs degrade over time and become unreadable. Odds are, any DVDs you burn today will be unreadable garbage in 20 years.
Since you already have prints made, the best storage is cool dark and dry. The old cardboard box under the bed is a remarkably good way to store prints. But do get them out of the basement unless you are dehumidifying it to less than 40% humidity.

04-23-2012, 03:17 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Digital storage is the worst storage method available. Optical discs degrade over time and become unreadable. Odds are, any DVDs you burn today will be unreadable garbage in 20 years.
Since you already have prints made, the best storage is cool dark and dry. The old cardboard box under the bed is a remarkably good way to store prints. But do get them out of the basement unless you are dehumidifying it to less than 40% humidity.
You need to get out and read more brother. 100 year archival DVDs and 300 year archival CDs have been out a long time. I do realize they likely pulled those numbers out of their butts but same as you did with your "Odds are...20 year" guess.
04-23-2012, 03:38 AM   #6
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Good DVD's that are chemical stable do last 70+ year quite easily, better then most negatives do and these are tested results.
Here is a good read.
How To Choose CD/DVD Archival Media

some tips.

Do

-Handle discs by the outer edge or the center hole
-Use a non solvent-based felt-tip permanent marker to mark the label side of the disc
-Keep dirt or other foreign matter from the disc
-Store discs upright (book style) in original jewel cases that are specified for CDs and DVDs
-Return discs to their jewel cases immediately after use
-Leave discs in their spindle or jewel case to minimize the effects of environmental changes
-Remove the shrink wrap only when you are ready to record data on the disc
-Store in a cool, dry, dark environment in which the air is clean -- relative humidity should be in the range 20% - 50% (RH) and temperature should be in the range 4C - 20C
-Remove dirt, foreign material, fingerprints, smudges, and liquids by wiping with a clean cotton fabric in a straight line from the center of the disc toward the outer edge
-Use deionized (best), distilled or soft tap water to clean your discs. For tough problems use diluted dish detergent or rubbing alcohol. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or photo lens tissue
-Check the disc surface before recording



Do not

-Touch the surface of the disc
-Bend the disc
-Store discs horizontally for a long time (years)
-Open a recordable optical disc package if you are not ready to record
-Expose discs to extreme heat or high humidity
-Expose discs to extreme rapid temperature or humidity changes
-Expose recordable discs to prolonged sunlight or other sources of UV light
-Write or mark in the data area of the disc (area where the laser "reads")
-Clean in a circular direction around the disc.
04-23-2012, 03:50 AM   #7
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Thats a good technical read Anvh, thanks for the link.
04-23-2012, 04:46 AM   #8
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I wonder how good blu-ray is when it comes to this.
DVD's are becoming very impractical due to the file size of the K5 compared to the K10D...

04-23-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
You need to get out and read more brother. 100 year archival DVDs and 300 year archival CDs have been out a long time. I do realize they likely pulled those numbers out of their butts but same as you did with your "Odds are...20 year" guess.
My understanding about testing methods is that they can only test real time aging, but make the conditions less than favorable and hope that this emulates longer storage under normal conditions. Years ago, a guy named Henry Wilhelm put out a fairly large tome that had long term stability tests of various films and papers that were current at that time.
The only problem was, his numbers weren't all that accurate because his testing procedure presumed that raising the temperature/RH and light levels was an accurate gauge of long term storage.
Unfortunately, it isn't.
The only way to accurately test to 70 years is to wait 70 years.
I've had optical discs fail after as little as 5 years (DVDs) and 3 years (CDs).
And, you won't have any way of knowing they've failed until you try to read them, by which time it's too late.
Film and prints, when properly processed, have proven themselves to be stable under normal storage conditions for decades, and image degradation is gradual, noticable, and with computer technology, pretty reversible (scan, fix, make another print).
Compare this to a file on an optical disc which is pretty much gone as soon as a file marker degrades past readability.
This doesn't even begin to address the issues of hardware to read those discs (do you really think in a century we'll still be using DVDs?), and software to open the files. but, if you have a print, you can just pick it up and look at it, no special tools are required.
04-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #10
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I found an article from the Library of Congress and another from Kodak might help.
KODAK: Examining Photo Prints-Image Stability

Care, Handling and Storage of Motion Picture Film - Collections Care (Preservation, Library of Congress)

I have concerns about CD & DVD storage. Assuming they will work after 70 years, will you have a machine that will read or operate a CD &DVD? Will there be software
to open your photograph files? Who knows what the future will be!
04-23-2012, 04:46 PM   #11
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There is a new DVD/Blue Ray disc technology now available that does not use typical dye layered discs. The company, Milenniata, offers the product, M-Disc, which are stated to last up to 1,000 years. The link below brings you to the company web site. I have bought the writer, but still need to burn some discs. Of course, the only down side of any of the technology involving computers is whether there will be an operating system available in 1,000 years that can read the discs (let alone a device and drivers).

The First Permanent File Backup Disc That Lasts Forever | Millenniata

One nice thing about film, as it is optical, it can always be re-imaged, no interpretation or data reading necessary!

Regards,
04-23-2012, 05:06 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Sherie,
I assume your question was meant to invoke a simple answer of how to store old photos and not a peeing contest on the knowledge(or lack there of) of digital storage technology and indefinite storage of media.

Store your photos in...

Any cool, dry place is good to store photos.
Cardboard or plastic are not recommended for long term storage unless they are marked 'acid-free.'
Simple storage can be done in any acid free or metal storage box
Acid-free sleeves can be purchased to individually protect prints if necessary.

I hope at least some of the information on this thread has been useful to you.
04-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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Good job bringing us back to the reality of the subject! Good overview too.
04-24-2012, 11:53 AM   #14
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Scan, re-photograph or digitize all your old photos and load the digital images onto digital photo frames. Program them to display at selected times. That's the best way to bring your old photos to life and storage media like SD cards are cheap and plentiful and last.
04-24-2012, 01:15 PM   #15
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If you want to store your prints, visit your local comic book store:

1. Gets some acid free boxes largest is for magazines.
2. Get some Mylar sleeves to put them in.
3. Get some calcium buffed cardboard backing to keep your prints flat again largest size is magazine size.
4. Take those boxes and as someone already suggested put them in your closet.
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